The Daily star Editorial : 01-05-16
প্রথমে শব্দার্থগুলো পড়ে নিন
seeking : অনুসন্ধান (Look into)
Nightmare:দু: স্বপ্ন (Incubus)
Evolve:ব্যক্ত করা (Disclose)
Stuck:আটকে পড়া (Trapped and unable to move)
Accused of :অভিযুক্ত (Charged, indicted)
Provision:বিধান (Law, Rule)
Outrageous:ভয়ানক (Terrible, Blatant)
Petition:আবেদন করা (Solicit, beg)
Gross:স্থূল, মোটা, সম্পুর্ণ (Entire)
Prompt:উদ্দীপিত করা (Ensoul, Encourage)
Remain:থাকা (Continue, stand)
Restrict:সীমাবদ্ধ করা, বাধা দেওয়া (Cumber)
Seeking legal redress for rape
A nightmare for the victim
Unlike the United Kingdom, the US and Australia, where laws regarding rape have evolved to a state that the “character, morality and sexual history of a victim are largely irrelevant to a sex crime trial”, we in Bangladesh are stuck with the Evidence Act of1872, which largely allows for a victim of rape to be accused of “bad character”. The whole process – from recording the incident with the police to the actual trial, should it get to that stage, is skewed against the victim. That we have provisions in the Act which allows the accused (usually a man) to point the finger at the victim (the woman) and claim her to be of loose moral character is outrageous in today’s context, particularly as a woman’s “character” has no bearing on whether or not she was raped. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why so many rape incidents go unrecorded in our country.
A legal rights body has petitioned the High Court (HC) to challenge the “two finger”, a (gross violation of personal privacy) test which has prompted the HC to issue a rule asking the government to explain why it should not be declared illegal. The ministry of health has, we are informed, submitted a draft guideline that recognises the archaic test as both “unscientific” and “horrendous” but the rule remains pending before the HC till date.
In the meantime the world has moved. In other countries we find legislation that restricts free movement of sex offenders and there is no provision of presenting before the court the question of morality of a victim. It is high time Bangladesh moved beyond what was written during the times of the Raj to protect the victims and allow them to seek justice.